Yesterday in Sydney I was honoured to launch the new book by Marcelo Svirsky, After Israel: Towards Cultural Transformation. It was a packed house to discuss Gaza, Israeli politics, racism and the future of the Middle East. Svirsky recently spoke eloquently on ABC radio about Israeli extremism.
Here are my notes from yesterday’s launch:
Strength of book is how it reveals the real Israel to a reader, not the imaginary Israel so often portrayed in our media.
– Explain “statement” at front of book, why did you write it?
– Do you hope Israelis read the book? Do have any sympathy for the Jewish Israeli population?
– Explain schizophrenia of liberal Zionists, here and overseas?
– You’re arguing for the dismantlement of Israel and Zionism. In current debate, this is a radical idea. Why is this necessary?
– Explain real dissent inside Israel, ie Zochrot?
– Why has the extremism of Israeli mainstream been hidden from the world for so long? Eg Moshe Feiglin’s recent, genocidal statement on Gaza.
– Explain logic of BDS.
– Critics of BDS say it unfairly targets Israel when there are other, worse human rights abuses in other countries, such as Iraq, Syria and North Korea. Respond.
– Role of medium power such as Australia towards Israel/Palestine?
– What’s your ultimate vision for your birth country? What do you fear is the future?
– How do your personal experiences shape your current politics on Israel and other issues? What other areas of interest have been influenced by your investment in the Israel/Palestine conflict?